Trade plays a vital role in the European economy and acts as a link between producers and approximately 500 million consumers across Europe. It is one of the most dynamic labor-intensive sectors and generates about 11% of the European Union’s GDP. One in three companies in Europe operates in retail, and over 95% of the 6 million companies are small and medium-sized enterprises, according to a recent study by the European Commission.
The challenges facing this sector are numerous, such as lighting, proper store design and attractive presentation of goods; ventilation, heating and air conditioning systems, in particular cooling and refrigerating food as this activity represents up to 50% of the energy consumption of a store intended mainly for the sale of food, according to studies carried out by the European Commission. Whether stores are equipped with separate refrigeration units or refrigeration systems, maintaining the cooling chain and product quality 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, involves high energy consumption.